The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

May 22nd, 2011  Joint Services Airshow – Andrews Air Force Base, MD

So no riding today as Michael, my self his two sons and two of their friends head for the Joint Services Airshow.  Michael and I were up at five and had the kids ready to roll by six.  After some initial confusion over breakfast at McDonalds we were on our way.  Of course we were following his GPS unit which in its infinite (and I’m starting to think malicious) wisdom it sent us through Washington, DC proper insted of straight up I96 to Fed Ex Field like it should have.  Still I got to see even more of DC and it’s neighborhoods which is always a cool thing.

We arrived at Fed Ex Field around 8:30am, parked and made our way to and through the security cordon and then on to the bus area.  There’s no real parking at Andrews for the 65,000 people who were going to attend that day so they had arranged for parking at two sites with adequate lots and then bussed everybody on to the base.  Not to sound trite but this was all handled with military precision and we were on the base by 9:00am.

This was the first thing I saw.

You ain’t in Kansas anymore.

This made Michael laugh, so he had me take a picture of it.

Every time I do some aviation related thing in the States I come across a number of planes I’ve not expected to ever see other than in a museum.  That these are flying aircraft is fantastic.  So my first encounter was the B-25J Mitchell.

Followed by this C-47 in full D-Day Invasion colors and markings.

Of course I went inside.

This B-17F done up in the same paint scheme as the famous Memphis Belle was there too (real Memphis Bell, hangs in the Smithsonian)

Followed by an AC-47, “Spooky.”  Couldn’t avoid going inside that one either.

Next up was a Dauntless in the flesh!

A Grumman Avenger, the torpedo bomber my Mum’s step dad trained to be a navigator for.

And then we came across this bad girl and for four bucks I could go inside.

Four bucks to fulfill a lifelong dream?   Of course I did!

Navigator’s table.

So ends part one.  You can see these and all the others at my full sized album here.

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